PREVIEW: Spartans, Wolverines rematch in East Lansing
During the Spartans’ game against Ohio State Thursday night, the team experienced their first loss at home this season, breaking their perfect home record. Their home record is now 13-1, with an overall record of 17-9. Once the team started Big Ten play this season, a trend began in which Michigan State beat an opponent at home but lost to that opponent when they were away.
MSU played Iowa Dec. 30 at Breslin Student Events Center, and beat the Hawkeyes 84-70. Once the Spartans took them on again at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Feb. 7, they lost 86-71. The same occurrence took place when the team played Indiana Jan. 6 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and lost 68-64. Then, more than a month later on Feb. 11, Michigan State beat the Hoosiers at home 77-61.
“(The reason we did so well at home), I think, was really the people we played at home,” freshman guard Nia Clouden said. “I just feel like it’s easier for us to shoot and have a better field goal percentage and just play together as a team.”
The only conference away game the Spartans have won so far this season was at Michigan Jan. 27 with a final score of 77-73. The team will play the Wolverines again on Feb. 24 at the Breslin Center and since they lost their perfect home record, they realize they need to step up their game.
“Now we have to bring it,” MSU coach Suzy Merchant said. “This group has to check themselves a little bit. If we want it, we’re going to have to play better than what we’ve been playing for sure. ... I’m sure they’ll be gunning for us as well since we beat them at their place.”
Redshirt junior guard Shay Colley, who was one of the team’s top scorers in their previous game against U-M, has doubts she and her team can show the Wolverines how they do things at home.
“(Our previous win) doesn’t mean anything,” Colley said. “As you can see, Michigan can beat us on our home court just like Ohio State was today. So our win on Michigan doesn't mean anything. You just have to regroup and focus and pay attention to the scout.”
The Spartans will tip off against the Wolverines Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m at the Breslin Center.